When you think of Ford Racing, you think of guys like Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, or Greg Biffle. You think of guys like Jack Roush, the face of the Ford empire in NASCAR racing.
But when the manufacturer needed a bailout(in the form of a win, of course), it took a 17-year old development driver to get it for them.
You’ve probably never heard of Chris Buescher, so I’m going to introduce you as best I can. Buescher is a 17-year old development driver for Roush-Fenway Racing. He has 9 ARCA starts, with 4 top 5s and now, 1 win. He’s also the guy that just saved Ford’s stock car reputation.
Before Buescher’s first career ARCA win, which came this past Sunday at Toledo, Ford’s last stock car win came last November at Phoenix, where Carl Edwards drove his Nationwide car to Victory Lane. Ford’s last ARCA win came back in 2008, and it’s last Sprint Cup win came last November, when Jamie McMurray piloted his #26 Ford to Victory Lane at Talladega.
In 2010, Ford has virtually disappeared off the stock car racing map. While Ford’s Mustangs dominate in NHRA’s Funny Cars, its Fusions and F-150s are having a hard time keeping up with the competition being dished out by Chevy, Dodge, and Toyota in the NASCAR camp.
In a sense, Ford has become the laughing stock of NASCAR. The question, “What’s up with Roush-Fenway this year?” is a serious one, but Richard Petty Motorsports has become seemingly more of a punchline than a race team. The third full-time Ford team, Front Row Motorsports, actually is more of a punchline than a race team.
However, Ford’s struggles are no joke. While every other car manufacturer has multiple wins in NASCAR competition in 2010, Ford has none.
But with Chris Buescher’s win this past Sunday, which came in a Roulo Brothers Racing Fusion, Ford is back on the stock car map. In the higher stock car racing series’, Ford is still missing something. But down below in ARCA, they’ve found a glimmer of hope. Though little, that glimmer is still something.
As for Buescher, he just saved Ford’s stock car reputation.